Wanderlust & Lipstick: Traveling with Kids by Leslie Forsberg and Michelle Duffy succeeds in putting together a comprehensive reference book on traveling with kids that is not patronizing or condescending. It is relevant to all travel styles, covers travel with infants to teens, and will help with trips to grandma’s or the Great Wall.
None of the family travel guides I browsed when planning our first trips felt relevant to me. I did not want to spend my vacations at Disney now that I had a kid, nor did I want to travel with a full suitcase of safety equipment. This is the book I needed.
With a variety of trips under our family’s belt, it is still a great reference. Inter-generational travel has come up a lot in our discussions lately. I keep going back to Traveling with Kids‘ pointers on addressing mobility issues and juggling traveling styles to help ground my husband’s expectations.
While a few years off, I loved reading about the teen “head swivel” evolving into dating while traveling. The authors posed great questions to ask as a parent in this situation and even provided a basic set of rules. (Spoiler: It shouldn’t be that different from managing dating at home.)
One of the reasons this books stands above others is the great balance between detailed suggestions, like packing tricks or special documentation, and broad topics like picking a destination or what to see when you are there. The secret may be that ideas are presented only as suggestions and web addresses are provided throughout the book if the reader wants additional details.
Differentiating the Wanderlust and Lipstick series are the first hand stories on almost every topic. While the authors are extremely experienced with family travel, many other family travel stories are included broadening the voice of the book. There are stories from overseas adventure travel with the kids to loading up the family in an RV to visit a National Park in a neighboring state.
Are you stressing about flying with your kids to see the grandparents for Christmas, thinking about what to do for spring break, or know new parents hesitant to travel with baby in tow? This is a great, low cost holiday gift that will give back for years travels to come. It is available at Amazon.com or check with your local bookseller.
One lucky reader can win a copy of the book. Just leave a comment on why you need to make traveling with your family easier. Next Wednesday (12/09/09) I will randomly select a winner.
UPDATE: Congratulations to Shannon Cooan who has won the copy of Traveling with Kids.